‘Public must be told how mineral wealth is spent’

The government has directed Tanzania Mineral Audit Agency (TMAA) to make sure that the available minerals in the country increase per capita income to USD 3,000 by 2025.

Current statistics show income per head standing at USD 640.

TMAA has also been urged to make sure it provides enough and relevant data to the public in relation to mineral extraction and use so as to avoid complaints and chaos.

Addressing the 5th TMAA ordinary meeting in Dar es Salaam last week, Energy and Minerals Deputy Minister, George Simbachawene said the government wants to make sure that the country uses the available resources to drive economic growth and increase people’s income.

“If the mineral business is not well supervised and controlled the country will not benefit from or fulfill its development goals using the resource,” he said, reminding the audience that minerals are non renewable resources.

The deputy minister stressed that all mining companies must pay their taxes on time, without fail. He also directed the agency to make sure that it provides accurate and timely statistics so as to inform the public on how the natural resource was being used.

“The move will provide awareness and minimise complaints to the government,” he said, noting that the government has been losing money through illegal mineral business. TMAA Board Chairman, Dr Yamungu Kayandabila assured the minister that the agency would put more efforts into making sure that the mineral sector is supervised more effectively.

He cited the example where TMAA managed to stop the illegal export of minerals worth 15.3bn/- through the country’s airports. He said at least 478.8bn/- has been paid as tax from different mining companies since 2009 to September 2013.

SOURCE: BY DAVID KISANGA, THE GUARDIAN - 9th December 2013

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